Should you consider getting some outside help to move your company up to the next level? Tough question as this can represent a significant investment that could be better used to meet operational needs. We get it, really we do. So here are some guidelines to consider before you make that decision to commit your cash.
1) Truth be told, most companies can solve their own problems. I know that many consultants will hate me for revealing this business truth. So why don’t more do this? Company culture usually, and relationships always! Objectivity is a major reason. Baggage is another reason.
2) What consultant experience is the right experience for your company? Start by asking the right questions. Perhaps these will help:
a) Have they ever owned or run a business similar to yours?
b) How applicable is their background to your specific needs?
c) How long have they been consulting and who are their types of Clients?
d) Check their education and industry credentials?
e) How many of their clients hire them a second time?
f) Is their experience based on “doing” or “telling?” In other words, will they roll up their sleeves and work with your team.
g) Will they share risk with a pay/performance fee structure?
3) Will the company culture absorb or reject new ideas and processes from an outsider? More importantly, will you as the business owner implement new methods?
4) Be realistic with the time frame for change to happen. Changing a process is one thing, but changing human behavior to support that process is a very different story indeed.